The Belize Barrier Reef
Andrea G. Milbourne
June 20, 2010
The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest barrier reef in the world next to one found in Australia. The reef is Belize’s number one tourist attraction. It is home to many different ocean life forms. The reef is in danger of being destroyed. Humans and the rising temperature of the ocean are factors of the reef’s danger. There are many conservation groups that are trying to help preserve the reef and its habitants. The barrier reef is 186 miles in length and is 1,000 ft off-shore in the north and 25 miles to the south of the country of Belize. The Belize reef has particularly high species diversity for the region, with about 65 coral species and over 300 fish species. The fish species include sharks, sea turtles, finfish, sponges, tuna, and many more just to name a few. These species coincide together to produce the reef. Many of the species need one another for food to survive. Larger species tend to feed of smaller ones and the left over materials from the fish are ingested by the smaller species. The Reef is still yet to be fully explored by humans. It is said that there is still ninety percent of the Belize Barrier reef that has yet to be explored by humans. The greatest damage comes from sedimentation, agrochemical run-off, coastal development, tourism and overfishing. Humans destroy the natural habitat of the reef by disturbing it and leaving trash and toxic materials in and around the reef. The reef also sustains damage from overfishing and large commercial fishing boats that try to fish in the shallow parts of the reef. Some large corporations dump toxic chemicals near the reef threatening the wildlife of the reef. There are banana farms near the reef that are quite large. They use fertilizer that helps the bananas to grow. The run off of fertilizer used to grow these bananas is going to the reef and killing the species in it, as well as, the reef...
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